Milpitas: BART extension employs ‘first of its kind’ security protocols (Source: San Jose Mercury News)

By Aliyah Mohammed

Along with getting two new Bay Area Rapid Transit stations, the Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project is also getting a cutting edge intrusion detection system along a segment of train tracks that uses video surveillance and sophisticated sensors to detect threats and, if necessary, can automatically stop BART trains.

The detection system will be able to identify anything from an escaped helium balloon to a dislodged pipe or derailed train that may cross a fence with sensors equipment that may fall onto BART tracks. That equipment determines what level of threat those objects may be to oncoming trains.

The automated Railroad Intrusion Detection System, also known as RIDS, has been installed along 5.2 miles of the 10-mile, $2.3 billion extension still under construction. The line starts where the Warm Springs BART Station ends in Fremont and then heads south to the Milpitas BART Station near the Great Mall and Montague Expressway.

The two-pronged system is the first of its kind to be implemented in a commuter rail transit project in the United States, according to Tim Schmidt, a senior associate for Houston-based engineering firm Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc., one of the designers of the extension.


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